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Cefepime plus amikacin versus piperacillin-tazobactam plus amikacin for initial antibiotic therapy in haematology patients with febrile neutropenia: results of an open, randomized, multicentre trial.

Author(s): Sanz MA, Lopez J, Lahuerta JJ, Rovira M, Batlle M, Perez C, Vazquez L, Julia A, Palau J, Gutierrez M, Capote FJ, Ramos F, Benlloch L, Larrea L, Jarque I, Spanish PETHEMA Group

Affiliation(s): Servicio de Hematologia, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Av. Campanar 21, 46009 Valencia, Spain. msanz@uv.es

Publication date & source: 2002-07, J Antimicrob Chemother., 50(1):79-88.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Standard therapy for suspected infections in patients with profound neutropenia is the combination of a beta-lactam antibiotic plus an aminoglycoside. Cefepime's broad-spectrum activity makes it an option for initial empirical therapy in neutropenic patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cefepime plus amikacin compared with piperacillin-tazobactam plus amikacin for initial empirical treatment of fever in adult haematology patients with severe neutropenia. METHODS: In this prospective multicentre trial, 969 patients with 984 febrile neutropenic episodes were randomized to receive iv amikacin (20 mg/kg every 24 h) combined with either cefepime (2 g every 8 h) or piperacillin-tazobactam (4 g/500 mg every 6 h). Clinical response was determined at 72 h and at completion of therapy. RESULTS: Eight hundred and sixty-seven episodes were assessable for efficacy (432 cefepime, 435 piperacillin-tazobactam). The frequency of success without modification of the empirical therapy was nearly identical for cefepime plus amikacin (49%) compared with piperacillin-tazobactam plus amikacin (51%). Similar rates of success were found for microbiologically documented infection: 40% versus 39%, respectively. Antibiotic modification was necessary in 49% of cefepime and 44% of piperacillin-tazobactam patients. The overall response rate, with or without modification of the assigned treatment, was 94% in both groups. Drug-related adverse events were reported in 10% of cefepime plus amikacin versus 11% of piperacillin-tazobactam plus amikacin patients. Mortality due to infection occurred in a total of 10 patients (two cefepime, eight piperacillin-tazobactam). CONCLUSION: The empirical regimen of cefepime plus amikacin is equivalent to piperacillin-tazobactam plus amikacin in febrile adult haematology patients with severe neutropenia. Keywords: cefepime, piperacillin-tazobactam, amikacin, empirical antibiotic therapy, febrile neutropenia, haematological malignancy

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